We knew there was a V-8 Defender on the horizon somewhere, but we didn’t know what power the new engine would bring and what optional extras would come with the extra cylinders. Regardless of whether you order the new engine in the two-door Defender 90- or four-door Defender 110 configuration, the 5.0-liter puts out 518 hp and 461 lb-ft of torque, jumping a whopping 123 hp and 55 lb-ft over the turbocharged one The 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder with P400 specification was the SUV’s most powerful powertrain option up to this point. The power is controlled via the Defender’s existing ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, which is transferred to all four wheels via an improved version of the all-wheel drive system of the regular SUV and now has a new electronic rear axle differential.
Choose the Defender 90 V-8, and 0-60 mph takes a wild 4.9 seconds. It will continue to defy the laws of aerodynamics until it reaches a powerfully limited top speed of 149 mph. Since this offers far more power than the regular four- and six-cylinder Defender, the V-8 has a number of tweaks to keep your new 4×4 right-side up when you cook the curved entrance ramp right away.
Stiffer bushings and larger stabilizers are logical additions to eliminate some of the uncomfortable body tilt, while the new rear diff includes yaw control that, along with a new dynamic propulsion mode, is built into the Defender’s Trick Terrain Response 2 program. The changes made in Dynamic Mode are straightforward: sharper throttle, stiffened suspension, and active torque vectoring dampen things and presumably turn the Defender into something you could use to recharge a winding country road. Danger.
When things get a little hairy, the new 22-inch wheels hide larger 15.0-inch front brake discs to reduce speed. If at some point you drive by to light a cigarette or tear your nerves to calm your nerves, you can also take the moment to admire the Defender V-8’s new paint colors: Carpathian Gray, Yulong White and Santorini Black . Pretty comforting, especially with the contrasting Narvik Black roof on the former two options.
Inside, the V-8 arrives with a darkened theme, complete with satin metal contact points, a steering wheel with an Alcantara wrap, metal shift paddles and a special V-8 emblem on the door sills. If that’s not enough trim, go for the V-8 Carpathian Edition. The model was executed exclusively in the namesake Carpathian Gray and contains splashes of Narvik Black on the roof, bonnet and tailgate. The Carpathian Edition-specific badge is distributed around the outside, along with color-coordinated front and rear underrun protection plates and satin tow hooks. The finishing touch is the standard satin protective film, which protects against paintwork scratches and abrasions on the road or off-road.
If you think the 3.0-liter inline six is good and good, but want a little bit of the specialty of the V-8 with the longest range, the new Defender XS Edition is just the thing for you. Spotters can choose the XS Edition from the hordes of Defenders with bog standard using its body-colored cladding and satin gray wheels. If you manage to catch one in the valet service, poke your head in and take a look at the expanded ebony grained leather padding and XS Edition-specific step plates.
Dang, still not satisfied? Fortunately, the regular Defender 90 is now available in the X-Dynamic SE and X-Dynamic HSE versions for 2022. For picky owners looking to spice up their new mall crawler, a Bright Package, an Extended Bright Package, and an Extended Black Package can be glued onto most Defender fairings, as well as a newly optional 11.4-inch Touchscreen infotainment display. Aside from these optional extras, every 2022 Defender can be charged wirelessly as standard
We bet you’re interested in the V-8 bit. Sorry, you have to be patient for now. Land Rover is up to date on both pricing and availability for the newest addition to the Defender family.